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View Poll Results: Which car do you like??
Alto 94 31.86%
Spark 205 69.49%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 295. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 16th June 2010, 20:45   #46
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Liking a car is one thing, but buying it is another. When I had about Rs 3.2L to buy a car in 2008, I had the option of buying an Alto or a Spark. My prime need was to travel from Point A to B (90% city driving) in ‘basic’ comfort (AC, power steering). My main concern was economics, followed by technology and aesthetics.

Between the two cars, my checklist was as follows:

The Car:

* Which car has a bigger and more usable boot space? Alto
* Which car would take me further with the same amount of fuel? Alto
* Which car would give me less heartburn if it were to receive minor scratches/dents? Alto

The Service/Maintenance:

* Which car has a service centre that is closer to me? Alto
* Which car has better presence in terms of service centres? Alto
* Which car would be cheaper to service after the extended warranty period? Alto

The Spares/Accessories:

* Which spares/accessories would be easier to find/buy? Alto
* Which spares/accessories would be cheaper to find/buy? Alto

The Resale:

* Which car would have potentially a better resale? Alto
* Which car's manufacturer has a better presence or clout (should something go wrong)? Alto (By the way, I previously owned a Matiz and neither the government nor the car's new owners GM bothered about the plight of us Matiz owners, who were virtually left in the lurch. Personally, I don't think the government would allow Maruti to sink, should something like Satyam takes place).


Now, the factors that did NOT matter much to me were…

* Which car has better power (BHP, torque, etc.)? Spark
* Which car has a more refined engine? Spark
* Which car is more stable at high speeds (over 100kmph)? Spark
* Which car has better interiors and upholstery? Spark
* Which car has better instrument panels? Spark

In the end, I was left with only one option. Alto.
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Old 16th June 2010, 21:02   #47
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ain't spark ahead in technology & features as compared to alto ?? More refined engine, a fresh new look.

5 adults from delhi to haridwar - 95% times AC was ON and the spark didnt trouble us a bit.
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Old 16th June 2010, 22:22   #48
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Spark has been rated the best in terms of safety in A2 segment by JD Power IQS Award for Quality 3 times in a row (2007, 2008, 2009...). The build quality, driver friendly features, ride quality, curve handling, engine smoothness, high speed performance in every aspect it should not be compared with Alto. Spark is a car to be compared with Wagon R, Santro, i10. Alto is only better than its cousin M800 and Omni.
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Old 17th June 2010, 07:32   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjothi View Post
Pardon my ignorance. Why so? Whats wrong with the Koren Product? Hyundai is not korean company?
Well, I did say "in my biased mind", didn't I?

That is what put me off the Santro as well!
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Old 17th June 2010, 09:45   #50
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My 2 cents (please dont mistake me): @misquitas so much stress on service/maintenance/spares and resale value (after 5 yrs the return that one would get on selling a 3.5L car and moreover the difference between the two and that money in the year 2015!!!) So are we thinking only of going to the garage to repair and sell it off rather than enjoying it. Fearing something would go wrong/ will I get my money back later. But I guess thats how most Indians are! Live in the future/live for your kids/seldom live for yourself. Should'nt we think give a lil more weightage for enjoyment and relishing it!
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Old 17th June 2010, 10:07   #51
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@Jeevmenon
We do enjoy driving the Alto, it is not a chore really! For 90% of the drives which happen within the city, there is not much of a difference between the Alto and Spark. The AC of the Alto does make a big difference - both in terms of comfort as well as power loss to the engine - but it is a trade off. As I said before, even in other departments such as space/handling/displacement etc, the Spark is only marginally better than the Alto, not enough to make an impression on us.

Just for info, there is another thread where a member has sold a Spark and bought a new Polo. He has taken a hit of 1,55,000/- in 22 months. May be perfectly acceptable to some, but definitely not for us.
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Old 17th June 2010, 11:46   #52
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@gansan - so a 3.5L Spark gives you 2L after 2 yrs of usage. Any stats on what a 3L Alto gives after 2 yrs?
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Old 17th June 2010, 12:26   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
@gansan - so a 3.5L Spark gives you 2L after 2 yrs of usage. Any stats on what a 3L Alto gives after 2 yrs?
Don't know exactly, but around 2.25 L I guess.
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Old 17th June 2010, 12:58   #54
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Owning both in the family, there is little to choose. Somehow I felt Spark had better pulling with AC over Alto but handling of Alto is amongst the best from the pack. Interiours are definitely better in Spark.
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Old 17th June 2010, 13:05   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
As I said before, even in other departments such as space/handling/displacement etc, the Spark is only marginally better than the Alto, not enough to make an impression on us.
Gansan,

I'm surprised that you mention that the spark is only marginally better than the Alto is space. Spark is taller and it's a car with a cleverly packaged interior. The benefits are obviously more.

The last time I drove an Alto was an year ago. And what hit me most was, the pre1998 M800s I had driven were so nice to drive.

The non assisted steering, the gear shift and even the plastics for e.g. were better in comparison to the current gen M800 and Altos. Cost cutting is evident everywhere, the cars are no longer fun to drive.

Over a period of time, the trade-off to keep costs down has taken it's toll on these cars.
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Old 17th June 2010, 13:10   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Just for info, there is another thread where a member has sold a Spark and bought a new Polo. He has taken a hit of 1,55,000/- in 22 months. May be perfectly acceptable to some, but definitely not for us.
+1 to that

A 2006 immaculate condition Alto fetches nowhere below 1,80000 at True Value (verified myself) now(2010). Even if I plan to sell after 4 years & projected 20K-30K kms, I will suffer only a lakh rupees hit. My car will be sold at a price very near to its actual value & we are only talking True value sale here. As we all know, face to face (buyer/seller) deals get you even more.

@jeev,kiku007

If I count the 25K difference that was there between Alto LXi & Spark LS at the time of my purchase, and 15K discount for accessories(Alto LXi), then I have spent nothing on the car for 9 months/ 6K km of running (Petrol,Service all included). Money plays a pivotal role for most first time drivers/buyers & FE, price are the Deal makers/ Deal breakers. Pardon me if I sound harsh, I am standing by the Alto not only because it is my purchase/car, but because it is still worth its salt in the plethora of entry level cars.

Last edited by JustCause : 17th June 2010 at 13:12.
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Old 17th June 2010, 13:18   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCause View Post
Pardon me if I sound harsh, I am standing by the Alto not only because it is my purchase/car, that it is still worth its salt in the plethora of entry level cars.
I totally agree with you the strict budgets first time car buyers in India come with. But for a little more you get a lot better.

Please pardon me if I'm harsh. What you are talking about is a vicious circle.

MORE people buy Maruti because MORE people buy Maruti.

People don't stop buying their Sell By Date cars (M800, Alto, Omni) >> So they don't kill the unsafe stale models >> So their resale value never comes down.

The herd mentality is a big dampener to the growth of Indian Automobile Industry as a mature market.

Last edited by kiku007 : 17th June 2010 at 13:20.
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Old 17th June 2010, 13:42   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiku007 View Post
I totally agree with you the strict budgets first time car buyers in India come with. But for a little more you get a lot better.

Please pardon me if I'm harsh. What you are talking about is a vicious circle.

MORE people buy Maruti because MORE people buy Maruti.

People don't stop buying their Sell By Date cars (M800, Alto, Omni) >> So they don't kill the unsafe stale models >> So their resale value never comes down.

The herd mentality is a big dampener to the growth of Indian Automobile Industry as a mature market.
Agreed on your viewpoint on Alto passing its use by date. it currently replaces the M800 in Maruti's portfolio, the remodeled cast iron engine is showing its age. I was seriously wishing for a detuned Kseries motor in the BS4 version. In this day & age, an 800cc engine produces much more BHP & torque. If Maruti replaced its Alto with a befitting (dimension wise) successor while keeping the price difference low, a bigger Astar could've been a success story.

Today, while considering Astar, common thought is that it is more cramped than Alto & more costly than wagon R, which is a result of Maruti's awkward product placement.
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Old 17th June 2010, 14:09   #59
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While Maruti surely is the expert in continuing to sell stale cars, haven't the others caught on to the trick ? What about the decade-old Santro selling alongside i10 ? Spark is just an old Matiz in a new avatar. The 10-year old Ikon sells alongside Fiesta. The Octavia sells alongside the Laura. Looks like we need a lot more companies to change their strategy for the Indian market to mature.

The only manufacturer who very regularly (and at a 3-4year interval) replaces their cars is Honda. Inspite of the premium they charge, we need to give it to them.

Maybe the premium is due to the cost of refreshing the cars so frequently.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 17th June 2010 at 14:15.
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Old 17th June 2010, 14:21   #60
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I think its high time we change this approach of resale playing a major role in buying cars. It makes sense to only people who frequently change cars(READ :Within 1-2 years, short term ownership). Any car that is bought in the intention to be used for atleast 3-1/2 to 4 years, should not be bought with resale as a priority. If such is the case, we are getting into the thought process of planning to sell the car even before buying it.

Now to the question in picture, anyday a Spark will be a better car in terms of power, A/C, ride quality/comfort and long term warranty aspects against an Alto.
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